Veterans Day is viewed by many as one of the most important holidays of the year. It is a time when Americans come together to honor those who have served to protect the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. It is a significant display of respect when American leaders take their time to acknowledge the sacrifice of the American military.
Vice President Mike Pence made a bold statement through his actions this past Saturday. Mr. Pence, his wife Karen Pence, and a few dozen volunteers met up to clean the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by hand, according to The Washington Times. This action sent a strong message to living veterans that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Moving start to Veterans Day. Thanks to @NewDayUSA volunteers who joined @NatlParkService, @SecretaryZinke, Karen & me to clean the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Also inspiring to meet NPS ranger & veteran James Pierce. To all Veterans, we are grateful for your service & sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/2aCacabxax
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) November 11, 2017
The group approached the memorial with orange buckets with a message along the side reading “‘Let’s Do This.” This powerful show of gratitude toward American veterans is something that many folks missed throughout the past eight years under President Obama.
Pence and company spent about 40 minutes wiping down the infamous wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is engraved with the names of everyone who lost their lives during the war.
After cleaning the wall, the Vice President met with volunteers to honor this exceptional holiday. He declared, in the near-freezing temperatures, “This is a great way to start Veterans Day!”
New Day USA sponsored the wall cleaning event. They are a group of finance companies that work with veterans and helps them secure loans for their needs.
In the crowd of volunteers assisting the memorial cleanup was James Pierce. Pierce is a National Park Service Ranger who tragically lost his leg while serving in the Army National Guard in Afghanistan.
Vice President Pence made numerous tweets to acknowledge his gratitude for veterans. “We are grateful for your service. We are grateful for your sacrifice. And to our veterans, I make this promise – just as you fought for us, we will always fight for you,” one tweet read.
President Donald Trump, who is currently finishing his first tour of Asia, had a message for veterans as well. He expressed his “incredible gratitude” for everything they have done for the country.
“On this wonderful Veterans Day, I want to express the incredible gratitude of the entire American Nation to the millions and millions of veterans that bravely defended our nation in uniform, and the strong families whose unwavering love and support allowed you to answer the call of duty,” President Trump said.
He went on to thank the military for their “service,” “salute” and “sacrifice.”
The President concluded by explaining soldiers’ essential role in the United States. “America’s veterans are this country’s greatest national treasure,” he said. “There’s nothing close. You are the best role models for our youngest citizens, and you are a constant reminder of all that is decent, good and brave.”
In such a dividing time, the message of these two men rippled throughout the nation. For a brief moment, there was unity. Neither the NFL players protesting, or the California NAACP claiming the national anthem is “racist” held a light to this message. President Trump and Vice President Pence understand that the veterans in this country fought not just for their families, but for every single American lucky enough to live here.